Next ten words

Over at the newly revitalised Sydney Anglicans website there’s an article on an upcoming Sydney media campaign promoting Christianity. The article points out that Dominic Steele – author of the popular “Introducing God” material is nonplussed about the campaign. He likes the catchy slogan – “Jesus: All about life” but wonders what the “next ten words” are that come after the slogan.

It’s a useful question to ask anybody who’s coming up with catchy, pithy slogans – and it comes from my favourite show of all time – the West Wing. Working out your one liner is actually the second step – having substance behind it is the first – a lesson we didn’t really see in action in the recent Queensland election.

Here’s a clip from a debate in a presidential campaign.

There’s a great repository of West Wing quotes – including this one – here.

Moderator: Governor Ritchie, many economists have stated that the tax cut, which is the centerpiece of your economic agenda, could actually harm the economy. Is now really the time to cut taxes?
Gov. Ritchie: You bet it is. We need to cut taxes for one reason – the American people know how to spend their money better than the federal government does.
Moderator: Mr. President, your rebuttal.
Bartlet: There it is. That’s the ten word answer my staff’s been looking for for two weeks. There it is. Ten-word answers can kill you in political campaigns. They’re the tip of the sword. Here’s my question: What are the next ten words of your answer? Your taxes are too high? So are mine. Give me the next ten words. How are we going to do it? Give me ten after that, I’ll drop out of the race right now. Every once in a while… every once in a while, there’s a day with an absolute right and an absolute wrong, but those days almost always include body counts. Other than that, there aren’t very many unnuanced moments in leading a country that’s way too big for ten words. I’m the President of the United States, not the President of the people who agree with me. And by the way, if the left has a problem with that, they should vote for somebody else.